• Friday, February 27, 2015

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Newspaper

Frontpage

Into the cobweb of gold rackets

Into the cobweb of gold rackets

Gold smuggling has gone remarkably up of late. Big haul of the most-sought-after metal makes headline all too frequently. But most of the smuggled gold enters and exits the country quite safely. The Daily Star in its 3-part extensive reports tries to put some light on the trans-border crime in which Bangladesh has...

Blogger Avijit Roy hacked to death

Blogger Avijit Roy hacked to death

Unidentified assailants killed writer and blogger Avijit Roy and badly wounded his wife Rafida Ahmed Banna on Dhaka University campus last night after the couple came out of the Ekushey Boi Mela. The incident happened around 8:45pm on the footpath along Suhrawardy Udyan near TSC. Two attackers hit Avijit, 42, with machetes from behind, making gaping holes in his head. They also hacked his wife when she tried to save him. Banna, 40, suffered injuries in the head and lost a finger, said Sirajul Islam, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station. The couple were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where Avijit died around 10:20pm. Banna, herself a writer and blogger, is being...

Lions floor miserable Tigers

Lions floor miserable Tigers

The Tigers turned up at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the first time to make a statement against the Lankan Lions yesterday. The mood in the Bangladesh camp ahead of the World Cup fixture was that it could be a stage where the Tigers would look to prey on the Lions. But...

Annisul Huq, Khokan Al’s DCC mayor candidates

Annisul Huq, Khokan Al’s DCC mayor candidates

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday endorsed Sayeed Khokan, son of late DCC mayor Mohammad Hanif, and Annisul Huq, former FBCCI president, as mayoral candidates for the long-pending polls to Dhaka city corporations. Party insiders said the Awami League chief called them in for a meeting at Gono Bhaban last night where she asked...

Transport workers' families in hardship

Transport workers' families in hardship

Shahanara Begum, 35, felt relieved that she could buy a cauliflower on credit from a street vegetable vendor. Her five children will get some vegetable curry in their next few meals instead of potato and pulse over the past four days. "The grocery owner from whom we buy necessaries declined to sell me anything...

Joy wants arrest of Dr Kamal, Star editor for ‘treason’

Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy yesterday said eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain, The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam and Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna should be arrested and tried for “treason”. Manna is now on a 10-day remand on sedition charges over “involvement in provoking the armed forces to topple the government”.   Joy, son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, wanted arrest of the three in his official Facebook page around 1:00am yesterday. Following is the Facebook post as...

UN chief worried at heightened tensions

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains “very concerned” over heightened tensions and continued violence in Bangladesh, and has renewed his appeal to all political leaders for finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis. On the arrest warrants against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, UN chief's spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said, “We are obviously aware of the arrest warrant that was issued against the leader of the BNP. The secretary general remains very   concerned.”  Dujarric made the statement in reply to a question...

OMG!

OMG!

  “Time is coming for you [Khaleda Zia]when you’ll have to spend the rest of your life in jail."   Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahabub-ul-Alam Hanif,  at Khulna district AL council yesterday  

Backpage

Violence Goes on

Land office in Feni torched

Criminals burnt down the Radhanagar Union land office, gutting important land-related documents, at Chhagalnaiya upazila of Feni early yesterday. Criminals set fire to the corrugated iron-sheet building around 3:30am, burning the whole office, said Chhagalnaiya Upazila Nirbahi Officer Kazi Shahidul Islam. Yesterday was the 52nd day of the countrywide non-stop blockade enforced by BNP-led 20-party alliance. It was also the fifth day of hartal that ends this morning.  Police detained Radhanagar Union Parishad Chairman Rabiul Haque Chowdhury, also the union BNP's general...

It's genocide

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alleged that the BNP-Jamaat alliance was carrying out “genocide” in the name of hartal and blockade, and said it was not at all acceptable to anyone. “May Allah give good sense to those who are burning people to death so that they stop such arson attacks… these are sheer killings and acts of genocide, and they are accused of killing people. The BNP-Jamaat nexus has been carrying out genocide,” she said. The PM was addressing the...

Nature Quest

Hoolock -- our acrobats atop forest canopies

Hoolock -- our acrobats atop forest canopies

We have a unique animal in Dhaka Zoo. If you are passing by it anytime during the day or residing within two kilometres of it, you are not going to miss out on the unusual ear-deafening duetting sound coming from the zoo. These very high pitched hoo-uk-hoo-hoo-ho, hook kooo reverberates across the zoo...

3 'robbers' killed in 'gunfight' with Rab

Three alleged robbers were killed in a "gunfight" with Rapid Action Battalion in the Sharankhola range of the c under Bagerhat district yesterday. Two of the dead were Saddam Mollah, 27, son of Shona Mollah from Barguna's Patharghata upazila, and Sohel, 25, son of Mohammad Mostafa Member from the same area. The third victim, aged between 25 and 30, could not be identified immediately. The three were members of a local robbery gang known as Sagar-Saikat Bahini, said Rab officials. With them,...

Jubo Dal leader traceless for two weeks

The wife of a Jubo Dal leader, whose whereabouts remain unknown for two weeks, has made an emotional plea for her husband's safe return.  Noor Alam, general secretary of the city's Pallabi thana unit of Jubo Dal, was picked up by some plainclothes men two weeks ago, his wife Rina Alam claimed yesterday. “I want my husband back. Please do not make me widow and my children orphans,” a sobbing Rina told a press conference in Dhaka Reporters' Unity. Anxiety and uncertainty...

SC upholds HC order on Salam's bail

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that had granted bail to Ekushey TV Chairman Abdus Salam in a case filed under the Pornography Control Act last year. A four-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha, dismissed an appeal filed by the government against the HC order. The ETV boss, however, cannot get out of jail as he is shown arrested in other cases, his lawyer Rafique-Ul Huq and Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star. Salam...

Parties unwilling to resolve crisis thru' dialogue

A number of European Parliament (EP) members yesterday voiced concern over the escalation of political tension in Bangladesh, saying they do not see any willingness among the major political parties to reach a "compromise" and resolve the crisis through "dialogue". Describing their discussions with stakeholders in Bangladesh, they said they did not see any scope of any compromise and did not even see any window of compromise, according to a video uploaded on the EP website on the discussions. The observations...

Tougher Internet rules to hit cable, telecoms companies

US regulators are poised to impose the toughest rules yet on Internet service providers, aiming to ensure fair treatment of all web traffic through their networks. The Federal Communications Commission is expected Thursday to approve Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposed "net neutrality" rules, regulating broadband providers more heavily than in the past and restricting their power to control download speeds on the web, for instance by potentially giving preference to companies that can afford to pay more.

Two more bodies found

Two more bodies were recovered from the river Padma at Dohar in Dhaka on Wednesday night and yesterday morning, raising the death toll in the Padma launch accident to 80. The body of the seven-year-old girl Maria was recovered around 11:00pm on Wednesday and that of Mehfuz, 35, around 11:00am yesterday from Joypara area, Mahfuzul Haque, officer-in-charge of Dohar Police Station, said. Maria was a resident of Rajbari and Mehfuz of Bogra. Both bodies were handed over to their relatives, the...

At risk of going under water

At risk of going under water

Residents of the remote Alaskan village of a Kivalina say they may be forced to relocate from their homes because of the effects of climate change. The thinning of sea ice has meant it is not possible for the Iñupiat people of the region to hunt the bowhead whales, while the US government has...

ISIS abducts 220 Assyrian Christians

Islamic State group jihadists have abducted 220 Assyrian Christians in northeastern Syria in recent days, a monitoring group said yesterday, as international concern grows for the minority group. The kidnappings -- more than twice as many as previously reported -- have prompted thousands more Christians to flee their homes to avoid being captured by the Sunni Muslim extremists, activists said. "No fewer than 220 Assyrian citizens were abducted by ISIS over the past three days from 11 villages" in Hasakeh province,...

Nigerian army chief visits Baga

The head of the Nigerian Army has visited soldiers in the northeastern town of Baga, telling troops that the conflict against Boko Haram will soon be over. Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah flew by helicopter to the fishing hub on the shores of Lake Chad and spent about 30 minutes on the ground, an AFP correspondent accompanying him said. "The war is almost ended. We will liberate Dikwa, Bama, Gwoza, Marte and other places in a few days' time," Minimah told troops...

Australia warns women ISIS no 'romantic adventure'

A worrying number of Australian women are heading to Iraq and Syria to become so-called Islamic State group "jihadi brides", Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said yesterday, warning against notions of a "romantic adventure". At least 110 Australians have left to fight alongside militants in the Middle East and security officials said between 30 and 40 women were among them or were actively supporting the group in Australia. "Sadly we are seeing a younger cohort seeking to join the conflict in Syria...

US SC leans towards Muslim woman in Abercrombie case

The US Supreme Court appeared Wednesday to be supportive of a Muslim woman who claimed she was denied a sales job with fashion retailers Abercrombie & Fitch as a teen because of her Islamic headscarf.  Supreme Court appeared Wednesday to be supportive of a Muslim woman who claimed she was denied a sales job with fashion retailers Abercrombie & Fitch as a teen because of her Islamic headscarf. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal government agency, is suing Abercrombie...

Bahrain court sentences 3 to death over police killings

A Bahraini court sentenced three Shias to death yesterday and jailed seven others for life after convicting them of killing three policemen in the Sunni-ruled Gulf state last year, prosecutors said. The supreme criminal court also stripped eight of the defendants of their Bahraini citizenship over the March 3 bombing in a Shiite village, the deadliest attack since security forces crushed Shiite-led protests in March 2011. Among the three policemen killed in Diah village was one officer from the United Arab...

France president seeks climate 'alliance' with Philippines

French President Francois Hollande yesterday called for a climate change "alliance" with the Philippines that could spur similar co-operation between rich and poor nations at a crucial UN summit. Hollande made the appeal shortly after landing in the Philippines with two of France's leading actresses for a trip aimed primarily at mobilising global action in the fight against global warming. "We have a duty to act together and that's why I came here to the Philippines, to launch an appeal, to...

Business

Banks' profits drop on bad loans

Banks' profits drop on bad loans

The banking sector's net profit dropped around 17 percent year-on-year in 2014 to Tk 5,993 crore on the back of mounting bad loans which necessitated large provisioning. The banks last year made operational profit of Tk 21,265 crore, from which Tk 9,037 crore was deducted as tax and Tk 6,238 crore as provisioning against bad loans, according to central bank statistics. Of the 56 banks, UK-based Standard Chartered Bank recorded the highest profits last year: their operating profit was Tk 1,742 crore and net profit Tk 1,098 crore. Another foreign bank, HSBC, came in the second position with their net profit of Tk 579 crore and operating profit of Tk 969 crore. The...

More Bangla content on way to Wikipedia

More Bangla content on way to Wikipedia

Popular online encyclopaedia 'Wikipedia' plans to develop more Bangla language content for the benefit of education, health and many other sectors of Bangladesh. “Wikipedia was created so that every single person on the planet can have free access to the sum of all human knowledge. We must grab every opportunity to take down any...

Midland Bank brings new deposit products, credit card

Midland Bank brings new deposit products, credit card

Midland Bank yesterday came up with five new deposit products along with Visa branded credit card. The credit card (platinum and gold) and the deposit products—MDB Super Saver, MDB College Saver, MDB School Saver, MDB Probashi Savings and MDB Gift Cheque—were launched at a programme at the bank's head office in Dhaka. At the programme,...

Forex reserves cross $23b

Foreign currency reserves have crossed $23 billion for the first time in the country's history, on the back of steady export, remittance growth, and lower oil prices. The reserves stood at $23.03 billion yesterday, according to figures from the central bank. “A stable flow of remittances and export earnings contributed to the record reserves,” said Kazi Saidur Rahman, head of the forex reserve and treasury management department at the central bank. He said the reserves are adequate to meet import bills for...

Large cap firms pull stocks up

Stocks broke a two-day losing streak and returned to the black yesterday, as investors went on a buying spree of large cap stocks amid the continued political turmoil. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, edged up 20.99 points or 0.44 percent to close at 4,763.22. DSES, the shariah index of DSE, rose 4.12 points or 0.36 percent to close at 1,130.91. The market responded positively to the earnings growth despite a gloomy outlook, commented IDLC Investments. Political instability kept...

Trade ties with Philippines to be strengthened

Bangladesh might introduce direct flights between Dhaka and Manila to enhance connectivity between the two countries and increase trade with the Philippines, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said yesterday. The Philippines is a very promising trading partner for Bangladesh, but many people do not know of the potential for poor connectivity between the two countries, he said, adding that he will discuss the issue of launching direct flights between the two capitals with the civil aviation minister. Ahmed's comments came at the...

WB to help Bangladesh attain middle-income status

The World Bank has pledged strong support for Bangladesh to achieve the goal of becoming a middle-income country by the end of this decade. “For this to happen, Bangladesh needs to do more to narrow the power and transportation gaps, manage urbanisation, reduce climate change impacts, and also improve the business environment and governance,” said Annette Dixon, WB's vice-president for South Asia region. She said they will help Bangladesh clear bottlenecks that impede faster growth and connect to regional and global...

Etihad Airways offers up to 30pc discount

Etihad Airways now offers up to 30 percent discount on business and economy class tickets for guests travelling from Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong to over 350 popular destinations in UK, Europe, South America, Middle East, Africa, USA and Canada. Etihad's biggest ever seat sale for 2015 was launched in corporation with the carrier's equity code share partner airlines across the world, the airline said in a statement yesterday. The tickets can be availed for bookings between February 25 and March...

Credit, money data offer glimmer of hope for eurozone

New credit and money supply data for the 19-nation eurozone on Thursday offered tentative signs that the region's battered economy is slowly mending, analysts said. The European Central Bank calculated that loans to the private sector -- a gauge of the single currency's economic health -- fell by just 0.1 percent in January, after long years of declines. The fractional drop marked an improvement over the previous month when loans to the private sector had contracted by 0.5 percent. The long...

German unemployment at new post-unification low

German unemployment fell in February to the lowest level since the country reunited in 1990 as growth in Europe's biggest economy picks up, official data showed on Thursday. The number of people registered as unemployed in Germany fell by a seasonally-adjusted 20,000 to 2.812 million in February, the Federal Labour Office said. Analysts had been expecting a much shallower decline of 8,000 this month. The unemployment rate -- which measures the jobless total against the working population as a whole -- was...

Qantas roars back into black after aggressive cost-cutting

Australian carrier Qantas on Thursday roared back into the black after an aggressive shake-up to stem mounting losses, posting its best interim result in four years helped by a revival in its international arm. The Aus$203 million (US$162 million) result in the six months to December 31 marked a stunning turnaround from a net loss of Aus$235 million in the same period in 2013 and smashed analyst forecasts. Underlying profit before tax -- the airline's preferred measure of financial performance --...

Cheap oil: Asia's winners and losers

Cheap oil: Asia's winners and losers

The price of crude oil has halved since June 2014. Who has benefitted? Mainly those countries that need to import oil, that use more of it than they can produce themselves. The probable gainers include India, South Korea, Thailand and - up to a point - China and Japan. South Korea is a striking case....

India aims to invest $137b in railways in next 5 years

The Indian government unveiled plans yesterday to invest $137 billion in its decrepit rail network over the next five years, heralding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aggressive approach to building infrastructure needed to unlock faster economic growth. Over the next year, India will increase investment by about a half to 1 trillion rupees ($16.15 billion) including funds raised by market borrowing. To meet the five year target, investment will have to speed up even more after that, leaving economists questioning where the...

StanChart picks ex-JPMorgan exec Winters as CEO to replace Sands

Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered said former JPMorgan investment bank boss Bill Winters will take over as chief executive in June to replace embattled boss Peter Sands. Standard Chartered said on Thursday Chairman John Peace will also leave next year, and named other changes to its board in a massive overhaul in management following a run of problems for the UK bank prompted top shareholders to call for change. Winters, 53, is one of the most respected bankers in the industry and...

Citigroup unit probed over money laundering

Citigroup Inc said additional government authorities have started probes of possible breaches of anti-money laundering laws at its Banamex USA unit. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a unit of the US Treasury, and the California Department of Business Oversight have asked the company for information on its compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering rules, Citigroup disclosed in an annual filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. The disclosure comes one year after Citigroup revealed a...

Bharti Airtel raises $310m through share sale in tower unit

Bharti Airtel, India's biggest mobile phone operator by users, said on Thursday it had raised $310 million through a secondary share sale in its mobile tower unit Bharti Infratel Ltd. Bharti Airtel will use the funds primarily to reduce debt, the company said in a statement. Its equity holding in Bharti Infratel has reduced to 71.9 percent following the deal, it said. Bharti Airtel, headed by billionaire Sunil Mittal, and around a third owned by Singapore Telecommunications, had net debt of...

IBM targets $40b in cloud, other growth areas by 2018

International Business Machines Corp, which ruled computing in the age of the mainframe, is targeting $40 billion in annual revenue from the cloud, big data, security and other growth areas by 2018. The aggressive target, set by IBM executives at the company's annual investor meeting in New York on Thursday, is the latest step for the technology giant towards emerging, high-margin businesses, and away from its previous strongholds in hardware and servers. The $40 billion will come from areas which IBM...

Sports

'We didn't play well'

'We didn't play well'

"Like batting, bowling also needs partnerships to become successful." This was the way how Mashrafe Bin Mortaza expressed his frustration when he was asked about his brilliant bowling effort after his side's 92-run defeat against Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) yesterday. The Bangladesh captain's bowling was the only silver lining in the...

Loss no big deal

In the 90,000-capacity stadium, more than half was vacant as only 30,000 fans turned up to watch the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka match of the ICC World Cup yesterday, but there was no shortage of festivity in and around the MCG -- the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. Sri Lankan supporters' popular musical instruments -- Papare bands -- dominated the stands and their celebrations continued even after the match justifiably as Sri Lanka posted a 92-run victory, but the red and green flags...

Third Eye

Tigers overwhelmed

At the end of Sri Lanka's tour of Bangladesh last year Mominul Haque was asked what he learnt from the series. He animatedly talked about Kumar Sangakkara's patience and the manner in which the veteran planned his innings. In fact most of the other players did the same thing. Mushfiqur Rahim, during the post and pre-match press conferences, consistently identified Sri Lanka's senior pair -- Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene -- as a big threat. Imrul Kayes, after scoring a century...

'Win gives back our confidence'

'Win gives back our confidence'

On way to making an unbeaten 161, Tillakaratne Dilshan overtook Aravinda de Silva as Sri Lanka's highest individual scorer in a World Cup match. De Silva hit 145 against Kenya in the 1996 World Cup which the in-form Dilshan erased from the record books yesterday in style, but the right-hander said he did...

Sheikh Russel cruise past Ctg Abahani

Sheikh Russel cruise past Ctg Abahani

Title contenders Sheikh Russel KC set up their Federation Cup semifinal clash with holders Sheikh Jamal after they notched up a 2-0 win over Chittagong Abahani in the third quarterfinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Nigerian Kingsley Chigozie gave the 2012-13 season's treble winners a 41-minute lead before Cameroonian forward Paul Emile doubled...

Walton 16th National Cricket League 2015

Rangpur stamp their authority

As the final day of the National Cricket League drew to a close, Rangpur Divison were at the top with 11 points, followed by Khulna and Barisal, both at 8 points each. At the BKSP, Chittagong started the day at 53 for 2 against Barisal. Nafees Iqbal's valiant 108 runs in Chittagong's first innings was followed by a duck in the second innings as they looked to be struggling after they were asked by Barisal to follow on. However, Tasamul...

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

World Cup Cocktail

World Cup Cocktail

JP Duminy is a doubtful starter for South Africa's World Cup group game against West Indies after suffering a slight strain and will undergo a fitness test on the morning of the match to determine his availability. South Africa are already without Vernon Philander, who is four days into a 7-10 day recovery...

UEFA Champions League

Berba haunts Arsenal

Berba haunts Arsenal

Former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov rolled back the years to score as Monaco pulled off a memorable 3-1 victory over Arsenal in their Champions League last 16 first leg match on Wednesday. The 34-year-old -- who played for Tottenham from 2006-08 -- struck the French side's second goal as the visitors made it an...

Ribery ponders becoming German

Bayern Munich's French winger Franck Ribery has revealed he is considering taking German citizenship in an interview with daily newspaper Bild on Thursday. The ex-France international has played for Bayern since 2007 and when asked whether he wanted to apply for German citizenship, he replied: "Why not? I can imagine staying in Munich after the end of my career. "I have bought a very nice house, I feel good here and I like the mentality. "My children are doing well at school,...

'FIFA must compensate'

German Football League (DFL) president Reinhard Rauball has criticised FIFA for insisting they will not compensate European clubs despite proposals to hold the 2022 World Cup in November and December. Plans to play the 2022 tournament in Qatar in the middle of the European season have still to be ratified next month by FIFA's executive committee, but the proposal has met widespread condemnation in Germany. The FIFA proposal is based on common sense due to extreme temperatures in the Middle East...

Halilhodzic set for Japan

Japanese football officials were tightlipped Thursday as Algeria's 2014 World Cup coach Vahid Halilhodzic emerged as the leading candidate for the vacant national team job, according to local media. The Japan Football Association (JFA) were said to be in talks with the 62-year-old Bosnian, broadcaster NHK reported, while the Nikkan Sports newspaper claimed that Halilhodzic had been offered an estimated salary of 2 million euros ($2.27 million) to replace Mexican Javier Aguirre, who was sacked earlier this month. But a JFA...

Cannavaro Jailed

Cannavaro Jailed

Fabio Cannavaro has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for breaching orders to keep out of his property after it was seized by authorities. The 41-year-old, who played for Parma, Internazionale, Juventus and Real Madrid, and captained Italy to their 2006 World Cup triumph, has been under investigation for tax evasion. In...

'Apply right pressure'

'Apply right pressure'

Skipper AB de Villiers says the West Indies will crumble if South Africa apply the right pressure in their crunch World Cup Pool B game at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. De Villiers says the Proteas' confidence took a "bit of a slap" in their 130-run mauling by India last Sunday, but they...

South Africa V West Indies

Time for turnaround

Time for turnaround

South Africa face a revitalised West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday in a match they need to win to breathe life back into their faltering World Cup campaign. The Proteas, who have yet to win a World Cup, were outplayed by defending champions India, losing by 130 runs at the Melbourne...

Gayle absence no issue

West Indies captain Jason Holder Thursday played down Chris Gayle's absence from training on the eve of the team's crunch World Cup Pool B match with South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Gayle, who has a chronic back complaint, hit the highest-ever individual World Cup score of 215, containing a record-equalling 16 sixes, in Tuesday's thumping win over Zimbabwe in Canberra. Holder said 35-year-old Gayle was being nursed through the tournament to ensure he was in the best possible shape...

MR. EFFICIENT

MR. EFFICIENT

KUMAR SANGAKKARA 400th match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and what does Sangakkara do? Hammer his way to magnificent ton. True, he was dropped twice and the Bangladeshis seemed overwhelmed by his presence on the field; but one can't deny the class act. His 105 off 76 balls wasn't just all boundaries; there were plenty of doubles and triples. He managed to do that despite the fact that Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had seven fielders in when Sangakkara had arrived at the crease. The deft touches and classic 'inside-out' drives were a treat for the 35,000-odd spectators present at the MCG.

Maiden win for Afghans

Maiden win for Afghans

Afghanistan posted their first-ever victory at the World Cup on Thursday with a nail-biting one-wicket win over Scotland in Dunedin on Thursday. Afghanistan chased down their target of 211 with just three balls to spare, bringing up a remarkable win for the minnows, appearing in their first World Cup. Samiullah Shenwari who like many of...

Shenwari’s simple job done

Samiullah Shenwari insisted he'd simply "done my job" after his superb 96 set-up Afghanistan's first-ever World Cup win with a thrilling one-wicket victory over Scotland in Dunedin on Thursday. Afghanistan collapsed to 97 for seven in pursuit of a modest target of 211 and were all but out of this Pool A clash at University Oval. But for the second time in as many days, following Ireland's nailbiting win over the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, two non-Test nations produced a...

NZ take casual approach

Veteran spinner Daniel Vettori said Thursday that New Zealand would stick with their tried and trusted "casual" pre-match routine rather than let the enormity of Saturday's World Cup clash against Australia overwhelm them. Saturday's match between the tournament co-hosts at Auckland's Eden Park promises to be a high-class contest, with two title contenders battling for pole position in Pool A, a finish which would mean they faced the relatively weaker fourth and final qualifier from Pool B in the last...

Jubilation everywhere

Hundreds of jubilant Afghan cricket fans flooded onto the streets of major cities Thursday, dancing, waving flags and firing AK-47s in celebration at their team's historic World Cup win over Scotland. Afghanistan, making their World Cup debut, secured a nailbiting one-wicket win over the Scots in Dunedin, chasing down the 211 target with just three balls to spare. In Kandahar, the southern city once famous as the Taliban heartland and now a bastion of cricket, ecstatic fans danced in the streets...

Fan Zone

Fan Zone

Towheed Hussain: The Lions are roaring and the Tigers can only purr about it. Murad Mamun: Good luck Tigers! Let's fight back, let's roar again, and let's show the world we can rise.  

Men of Steel

Men of Steel

TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN Did you by any chance call him old? Well, that stirred him up didn't it? Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed away Sri Lanka's early woes in the tournament with a punishing 161 off 146 balls. The way he sprinted those doubles and consistently shifted to drive those switch hits, made him seem half his age. There were no sixes in his innings and yet it seemed as exciting as some of the other more aggressive knocks in the World Cup. Perhaps the best aspect of his game was that unlike the other two batsmen who got a chance to play, Dilshan didn't provide the Tigers with any opportunities. It's a...

Editorial

Editorial

AI report 2014-15

THE latest annual report by the London-based human rights watchdog, Amnesty International (AI), echoes the concerns raised by our own human rights organisations regarding enforced disappearances, impunity of law enforcement agencies, circumscribing the freedom of journalists and human rights defenders and violence against women. Through the years, what has perhaps been as alarming as the consistency of violations is the consistency of the state in not acknowledging and addressing the apprehensions regarding human rights violations. The report suggests that an...

Editorial

Faulty designs behind most launch accidents

Amid denial of responsibilities for launch accidents by the authorities, a report reveals that between 1976 and 2005, 70 per cent launch accidents happened due to design flaws. Nine NGOs working for safe waterway published that report yesterday. Though properly designed water vessels survive 40 degree tilting our launches sink even at 15 to 18 degree tilt. It shows serious deficit in design and fitness of existing water vessels. Though there are provisions for punishment of launch owners, drivers and...

Op-ed

Editorial

AI report 2014-15

THE latest annual report by the London-based human rights watchdog, Amnesty International (AI), echoes the concerns raised by our own human rights organisations regarding enforced disappearances, impunity of law enforcement agencies, circumscribing the freedom of journalists and human rights defenders and violence against women. Through the years, what has perhaps been as alarming as the consistency of violations is the consistency of the state in not acknowledging and addressing the apprehensions regarding human rights violations. The report suggests that an...

Editorial

Faulty designs behind most launch accidents

Amid denial of responsibilities for launch accidents by the authorities, a report reveals that between 1976 and 2005, 70 per cent launch accidents happened due to design flaws. Nine NGOs working for safe waterway published that report yesterday. Though properly designed water vessels survive 40 degree tilting our launches sink even at 15 to 18 degree tilt. It shows serious deficit in design and fitness of existing water vessels. Though there are provisions for punishment of launch owners, drivers and...

CROSS TALK

Many of us alive have long been dead

THE cultural activists in the country did their bit last Sunday when they accompanied the families of those who had died in political violence and hung a list of 54 victims in front of BNP chairperson's Gulshan office. It was ironically done on the same day 41 people, to the last count of that day, had reportedly died after a launch sank when it was hit by a cargo vessel. The number of victims has risen to 71since then,...

Tyranny doesn't go unanswered

Tyranny doesn't go unanswered

WHER-EVER autocracy exists resistance does too. History teaches us that. February 23 is a day that is remembered in Germany for events that took place at the height of Nazi power in a place called Munich. A few brave men and women belonging to the University of Munich decided to warn the German...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

World cares about us, but do we?

OF late, we were startled by two falsehoods -- one, a deliberate gaffe corrected post-haste; and the other a mischievous attempt at populism after an anti-people act. This is the stuff one expects when the chariot is in a back gear. To say that this is regression would be an insult to the word itself. For, the other day, we heard the news of an exceptional car: Its front gears failing, it was driven forward in back gear making...

Mamata's visit: Hope for Teesta agreement?

Mamata's visit: Hope for Teesta agreement?

THE Chief Minister of Paschimbanga, Mamata Banerjee, paid a visit to Bangladesh from February 19 to 21. It is known from the media that her visit was made as per invitation of the Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh. Mamata arrived with a 40 member team comprising of ministers of her cabinet, lawmakers, writers, singers,...

HUMOROUSLY YOURS

Hakuna Mamata

Hakuna Mamata

CAPTAIN'S log, star date 4698.3. Hartal -- the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Bangladesh. Its continuing mission -- to seek out new strifes and new abominations, to explore strange new ways of self destruction, to boldly go where no (sane) man has gone before.” Theme music of Star Trek. “Captain. I...

Letters To The Editor

Israeli apartheid

The Palestinians are so unfortunate; they have long been oppressed by the Israeli occupiers. It seems that Israel has become a carbuncle under the garb of coexistence and very cleverly sponsored and protected by the United States. Why do not the saner world leaders condemn the role of US? The massacre of the innocent Palestinians has exceeded all limits last year. Their rights have been snatched away by the Israelis, and all under the patronage of US, who likes...

Letters To The Editor

A partial view

I am really surprised by the partial view expressed by one of your columnists in his column titled "Behind the politics of attrition" published in your esteemed daily on February 14, 2015. It is also surprising to note that he totally forgets to mention in his piece that (i) this government came to power again a year ago through a farcical election and is unrepresentative of the people, (ii) it has consolidated power by politicising the state machineries (iii)...

COMMENTS

“Ironical yet deplorable” (February 17, 2015) S. M. Iftekhar Ahmed BNP, perhaps influenced by Jamaat, has become so obsessed about coming to power that it intentionally ignores the plight of the people or its own hardships. They also fail to realise that people will not support their so-called movement because of the way they are carrying it out. So unless BNP leaders change their way of thinking, this crisis will soon have an impact on them even more than on the...

Entertainment

A tale of two sisters

A tale of two sisters

Star siblings Laila Hasan and Daisy Ahmed are an upbeat duo. Laila a well known dancer and actor, is married to veteran actor Hasan Imam, while Daisy Ahmed, wife of noted actor Bulbul Ahmed, is a singer and actress. Laila and Daisy shared little known tidbits about their great bonding:   Where did you...

Dance has flowered as a profession in Bangladesh

Dance has flowered as a profession in Bangladesh

Shammy Akter is an emerging dancer who has taken to Bharatanatyam, Kathak and contemporary dance forms. Starting out with dance lessons at the age of seven, she has come a long way. She is now a regular face with dance organisation Shadhona, and plays the lead in Shadhona's much-acclaimed production “Champabati”. In a recent...

''I am trying to break out of my 'Boy Next Door' image''… Tawsif

''I am trying to break out of my 'Boy Next Door' image''… Tawsif

Tawsif Mahbub was going to engineering classes by day and playing bass with his band by evening, before he decided to do one tele-film that turned his life inside out. His mercurial rise over the last couple of years has seen him represent top brands as a model, as well as being arguably the most in-demand youngster on the small screen. In a recent conversation, Tawsif spoke to this correspondent about the limelight, his image, and the musician-turned-actor he gets compared to most. When did it hit you that you're a star of sorts? Tawsif: It happens to the fewest of people, but in my case it was with my very...

Ishana's game plan

Ishana's game plan

Former Lux Superstar Ishana's career is skyrocketing. An acclaimed actress and model, she is currently busy with shoots for TV plays. In a recent conversation with The Daily Star, the multi-talented artiste spoke about her many assignment Tell us about your latest telefilm… Ishana: I worked with film actor Riaz in the telefilm “Kath Golaper Sunnota”, directed by Minhazul Islam Abhi. Any recent challenges? Ishana: I recently shot for a TV play where I enacted the roles of Haimonti, Kumu and Maloti --three famous characters drawn from Rabindranth Tagore's works.  The yet-untitled TV play was really very challenging. Is there a character you have played for the first time? Ishana:  I recently enacted the part...

Sabila Nur debuts as singer

Sabila Nur debuts as singer

The song “Jajabor Pakhna” from the recent tele-film featured in the tenth telefilm of Airtel, “Monkey BiZness”, has become a big hit. An acoustic version of the song has been made where the lead actress of the tele-film, SabilaNur, has given voice. This version has also become a success among fans. The composition of the song was done by Arafat Mohsin, and it was produced by Studio 58. “Monkey BiZness” was first telecasted on February 13 on ntv, and has generated a buzz among young viewers. Due to its success and popular demand, the tele-film will be re-telecast at 2:35 pm today on ntv. Although Sabila has been acting and modeling...

Play on Altaf Mahmud's life on ATN Bangla

Play on Altaf Mahmud's life on ATN Bangla

Single episode TV play “Ghumer Deshey Ghum Bhangatey” will air tonight at 11pm on ATN Bangla. Written by Anisul Hoque and directed by Ashrafi Mithu, the play is based on the life of Martyr Altaf Mahmud, who composed the legendary song “Amar Bhai-er Rokte Rangano Ekushey February”.   The play casts Shimul Yousuff, Hillol,...

Madonna falls off Brits stage

Madonna falls off Brits stage

The Brit Awards, the annual flagship UK music awards show, brought out stars and industry folks alike in the British capital Wednesday night. The British version of the Grammys was held at London's O2 Arena where Madonna, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith, George Ezra, Royal Blood and Take That were among...

Sherlyn Chopra to play a double role

Sherlyn Chopra to play a double role

Sherlyn Chopra has been signed on to play a double role in Satellite Pictures' next venture. The film is slated to go on floors as soon as the actress wraps up the shooting of her bilingual film. The movie, which is yet untitled, will be produced by Subhash Choudhary and Shaila. One might remember...

NEWS bytes

Kevin Spacey to get special Olivier award

Kevin Spacey to get special Olivier award

US actor and director Kevin Spacey will be honoured with a special prize at this year's Olivier Awards. The Oscar-winner is being honoured for his outstanding contribution to the Old Vic, where he became artistic director in 2004. He is widely credited with reviving the theatre's fortunes, and steps down later this year. The 55-year-old is famous for his film and TV roles in “American Beauty” and “House of Cards”. Spacey's final performance as the Old Vic's artistic director will see him revive his title role in Clarence Darrow, his first one-man play. Spacey's film work includes “The Usual Suspects”, for which he received a best supporting actor Oscar in 1996, as...

IT'S TRUE!

IT'S TRUE!

Marilyn Monroe, one of the most discussed film stars of all time, was poorly paid throughout her career. Though she couldn't overcome her financial distress, Monroe went on to become of the most popular Hollywood heroines. In 1962, she was fired by Twentieth-Century Fox from the production of “Something's Got to Give” because of her chronic lateness and absence during first two weeks of shooting. Later, just four days prior to her death, Monroe was rehired by Fox on a $1million deal. She died poor, but at present her estate makes around five million dollars a year.

City

Amar Ekushey Granthamela-2015

Publishers demand rent refund for 'loss'

Publishers demand rent refund for 'loss'

A publishers' association, Bangladesh Gyan o Srijonshil Prokashak Samity, yesterday demanded that Bangla Academy refund the stall and pavilion rent, along with the 15 percent VAT, terming it “compensation” for the loss incurred following the low visitor turnout at Amar Ekushey Granthamela-2015 for the continuous blockade, hartals and political violence. Reading out a written...

Pallabi road bugging residents

Pallabi road bugging residents

For the last five years walking, let alone riding a vehicle, has been a nightmare over the around one kilometre road stretching from Setar Tower to Pallabi Extension in the capital's Pallabi Sare Egaro, thanks to the authorities concerned for not repairing sections dug up repeatedly for utility works. Locals say that each time...

Politics in Bangladesh

Comprehensive concept of inclusive polls can end crisis

A member of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights has said Bangladesh can overcome the current crisis through a comprehensive concept for having an inclusive, participatory and democratic approach which allows people to participate in the elections. “Potential new elections would need to bring in new faces and new people. Only then may things begin to change,” Josef Weidenholzer said in an interview with the Deutsche Welle. About Bangladesh's situation, Weidenholzer, who along with two other European Members of Parliament...

Marine resources need to be explored methodically

Experts at a seminar on marine resources management yesterday stressed exploring enormous marine resources professionally and methodically to help Bangladesh reach the newer stage of development. They also advocated for conducting a detailed study to identify the resources to explore those perfectly. The Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) arranged the seminar titled "Marine Resources Management of Bangladesh in the Context of Newly Demarcated Boundary" at its auditorium in the capital with Chairman, Board of Governors of BIISS, Munshi...

Death Penalty

Kamaruzzaman's lawyers get SC judgment's certified copy

Convicted war criminal Muhammad Kamaruzzaman's lawyers yesterday got the certified copy of the Supreme Court judgment that upheld his death sentence. The copy was handed over eight days after a war crimes tribunal issued the death warrant for the Jamaat-e-Islami leader. However, SC Registrar Syed Aminul Islam could not say why the delay occurred. A certified copy is required to file a review petition on the verdict. The International Crimes Tribunal-2 issued the death warrant on February 19, the day after the...

C'nawabganj School 'Massacre' During Liberation War

Another implicates Afsar, Mahidur

A prosecution witness, who survived a massacre in Chapainawabganj during the Liberation War, yesterday narrated how he escaped death after being shot by war crimes accused Afsar Hossain Chutu. Fosi Alam Satu, 60, said Afsar and Mahidur Rahman, another accused, with fellow Razakars and Pakistani army shot dead 24 people of three villages of the district on October 6-7, 1971. They were butchered at Binodpur High School, the 6th witness told the International Crimes Tribunal-2. Earlier, several witnesses testified on...

Cops tried to scare Khaleda's lawyers

Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon yesterday alleged that police had cordoned off for several hours a house in the capital where some senior lawyers of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia met on Wednesday. Police did this to create panic among the lawyers so that they cannot provide their client with legal assistance, the pro-BNP lawyer told a press conference at SCBA's media room.    He said the lawyers met with their most senior colleague TH Khan in the latter's...

Booklet on atomic energy launched at book fair

An illustrated science booklet with basic facts about atomic energy in Bangla has been launched by Russian atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, at Amar Ekushey Granthamela-2015, says a press release. It is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, the Russian embassy, and the Nuclear Energy Information Centre.

Vandalism, Arson Case

Charge framing against Fakhrul deferred till March 25

A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned till March 25 the hearing on charge framing against Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and 22 others in a case filed over vandalising and torching vehicles at the capital's Malibagh intersection on March 2, 2013. Metropolitan Magistrate Tareq Mainul Islam Bhuiyan passed the order after lawyers of the BNP acting secretary general, who is now in jail in another case, and five others submitted separate petitions seeking adjournment of the hearing.  Moreover, sixteen accused in the case...

Jashim new envoy to Greece

Jashim new envoy to Greece

The government has decided to appoint Jashim Uddin, currently serving as director general in the foreign ministry, as new ambassador of Bangladesh to Greece. Earlier, he served in Bangladesh missions in New Delhi, Tokyo, Washington DC and Islamabad, said a foreign ministry press release yesterday. A BCS cadre of the 13th batch, He obtained MSS in International Relations from Dhaka University and MA in Modern International Studies from the UK.

News in Brief

BNP's Zainul gets bail in arson case Staff Correspondent The High Court yesterday granted four weeks' bail to Zainul Abedin, an adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in an arson case. Police filed the case with Paltan Police Station on February 2 after a bus was torched during an anti-government agitation on February 1. Yesterday, the HC granted anticipatory bail to Zainul, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, after hearing a bail petition filed by him recently. Nine get life term...

Death anniversary

Death anniversary

Today is the 12th death anniversary of Md Abdul Matin, a lawyer of Narayanganj judge court, and father of Russell T Ahmed, senior vice president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services. A milad mahfil will be held on the occasion.

Death anniversary

Death anniversary

Today is the 11th death anniversary of Marium Shamim, former country manager of Biman Bangladesh Airlines and a cultural activist. She died in 2004 while undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University. Her family requested all to pray for the salvation of her departed soul.

Qulkhwani

Qulkhwani of Amina Rahman, former DGM of Sonali Bank and widow of former IGP late Habibur Rahman, will be held today at house-25/B, road-1, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Country

Cox's Bazar Tourism Industry in Crisis

Cox's Bazar Tourism Industry in Crisis

“All the hotel rooms in Cox's Bazar are empty,” says Md Azad, manager in-charge at mid-range Hotel Ovisar, located some 100 metres from Laboni Beach. In the peak months of November to February, the 55-room mid-range hotel anticipates 40 rooms on average will be occupied. Sometimes the hotel is full. These days just four...

Sugar beet farming sees success in Kurigram

Sugar beet farming sees success in Kurigram

A farmer has become successful in experimental cultivation of newly introduced sugar beet on his one decimal of land at Mahidhar Khandak village of Chhinay union in Rajarhat upazila under the district this year. The large pale brown root crop serves as a raw material for commercial production of sugar, besides being taken as...

Rafique Killing Case in Thakurgaon

Accused giving threat to victim's family

Accused giving threat to victim's family

The accused in Rafique murder case have been putting pressure on the family of the deceased to withdraw the case. Rafiqul Islam alias Rafique, 26, son of Abdur Rahman of Gowalpara in Thakurgaon municipality area, was killed by a gang on February 25 in 2013. The gang allegedly led by Masudul Islam alias Munna, organising...

Farmer killed over land dispute

A farmer was killed allegedly by his rivals over the ownership of a disputed land at Char Belamari village in Nandail upazila on Wednesday night. The deceased is Shafiqul Islam, 35, son of late Hazrat Ali of the village. Police said there had been a dispute between Shafiqul and his neighbours, Swapon Mia, Apon Mia and Ripon Mia, over the ownership of a piece of land. At one stage of altercation over the issue in the afternoon, rivals stabbed Shafiqul with sharp...

School land recovered from grabbers in Bogra

A piece of land of Phulbari Govt Primary School in Shariakandi upazila was recovered recently from the clutches of land grabbers after around 50 years, much to the relief of locals, teachers and students of the school. Dil Afroz of an affluent family at Phulbari union of the upazila had donated 18 decimal land to the school in 1955. A few years later, the land was grabbed allegedly by the then president of the school's management committee, said locals. The land...

Eight BNP, Jamaat men held for torching truck

Law enforcers in separate drives detained seven leaders and activists of BNP and its front organisation from different spots in Sirajganj Sadar upazila on Wednesday night on charge of torching a truck the night before. The arrestees include, Rezaur Rahman Bhutto, president of the Sayedabad union unit of Jubo Dal, Abdul Awal Khan, president of Chhatra Dal of the same union unit, and its general secretary Mahmudul Alam Palash. Habibul Islam, officer in-charge of Sadar Police Station, said police raided different...

Cattle trader stabbed by BSF

A Bangladeshi cattle trader was stabbed by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) near Putkhali border under Benapole Port Police Station on Wednesday night. The victim, Kitab Ali, 25, son of Aital Ali, is a resident of Uttarpara village under the police station. Subedar Shamsur Rahman of BGB 23-Battalion, said a group of cattle traders were returning home with cattle from India through the border on Wednesday night. BSF troops from Angrail camp chased the cattle traders and caught Kitab while the...

Donation for 15 Rangpur arson victims

Rangpur district unit of Diploma Engineers Association of Public Works Department (PWD) yesterday donated Tk 15,000 to the arson victims, who are undergoing treatment at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH). Kamrul Huda, sub-assistant engineer of PWD, also president of the association, and its general secretary Mosharaf Hossin visited the burn unit of the hospital and handed over the money to Dr Abdul Kader Khan, acting director of RMCH. Each of the victims received Tk...

Two drug peddlers held

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested two drug peddlers along with 500 grams of hemp in Jamalpur railway station area of the district town early Tuesday. The arrestees are Md Abul Kashem, 52, son of late Momin Bepary of Chalapara area, and Md Hossain Ali, 37, son of late Amir Uddin of Sahapur area in the town.

Fisheries office torched

Criminals torched the district fisheries office in BSCIC area of the town early Tuesday. District fisheries officer Mohammad Khalekuzzaman said a gang set the office afire at around 3:30am. Later, local people doused the flame.

Child marriage bid foiled in Joypurhat

A headmaster foiled a bid for child marriage in Kalai upazila of Joypurhat district on Wednesday. Marriage of Golapi, 13, daughter of Abdul Gafur of Utrail village, and a class VIII student of Shantinagar High School, was arranged at noon.  Being informed, Md Abdul Motin, headmaster of the school, rushed to the house of Gafur and stopped the marriage with the help of police. Meanwhile, police recovered the body of an unidentified woman, 25, from Uttar Gabtawla village in Pirojpur Sadar upazila...

Snippets

Body recovered Our Correspondent, Narsingdi Police recovered the body of a teenage boy from an under construction building in Basail area of the district town yesterday. The deceased was identified as Shakil, 16, son of Rahi Mian, a rickshaw puller of Taroa area in the town. Locals found the body in the area in the morning and informed the police. The law enforcers then reached the spot, recovered the body and sent it to Narsingdi Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy, said...

Blasts kill 35 in Nigeria

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday visited the scene of what is feared to be Boko Haram's worst massacre as the Islamists killed 35 more with three separate bombings in the country's religiously tense central region and restive northeast. The bombings raised fears of a renewed wave of attacks against vulnerable targets in urban centres, as troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon make gains against the militants in rural areas. 18 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up...

World

Ukraine forces 'start weapons pullback'

Ukraine's military yesterday said it was starting the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline, bolstering a stuttering peace plan as the United States and Russia traded barbs over the conflict. The announcement of the pull-back -- a key part of a peace deal negotiated this month -- comes after a shaky truce that was meant to come into force February 15 finally took hold across the conflict zone in recent days. "Ukraine is today (Thursday) beginning the withdrawal of 100mm...

Israel PM 'not correct' on Iran nuke issue

Israel PM 'not correct' on Iran nuke issue

US officials on Wednesday questioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's judgment and said his outspoken condemnation of efforts to secure an Iranian nuclear deal had injected destructive partisanship into US-Israeli relations. Netanyahu has criticised the US and others for "giving up" on trying to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. The Israeli PM "may not be...

'Putin planned to annex Ukraine'

'Putin planned to annex Ukraine'

Moscow has been planning to annex parts of Ukraine for more than 12 months, according to sensational claims made in a Russian newspaper. Vladimir Putin's office reportedly compiled a detailed roadmap of how a "pro-Russian drift" could allow it to seize Crimea and some eastern provinces, just a few weeks prior to the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych and the start of the Ukrainian crisis. According to a document allegedly leaked to the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Russia had identified Yanukovych as “politically bankrupt”, and outlined a plan by which a “coup” would set in motion events ultimately leading to Russian expansion. The extraordinary claims made by the newspaper, which is one of...

Radicalised Islam: Europe scrambles to neutralise threat

Austria's parliament on Wednesday passed a law banning foreign sources of financing to Muslim organisations and requiring imams to be able to speak German, in a move closely watched by other European nations facing growing problems with radical Islam. The new law aims to promote what conservative Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz calls an "Islam of European character" by muting the influence of foreign Muslim nations, organisations and funding at a time when concerns are rising about the spread of extremist...

Massive black hole challenges universe theories

Massive black hole challenges universe theories

Astronomers said Wednesday they had detected an "impossibly large" and ancient black hole that challenges theories about how these phenomena grew in the early Universe. With a mass 12 billion times that of our Sun, the black hole formed about 900 million years after the Big Bang that created the Universe 13.7 billion years...

US wraps up Ebola mission in Liberia

The United States yesterday staged a military ceremony to end its five-month Ebola mission in Liberia, with the west African nation in recovery from the worst-ever outbreak of the virus. A force that at one point reached 2,800 has been gradually scaled back since the epidemic began to recede, and the Pentagon has announced that "nearly all" troops will be gone by the end of April. "The importance of the progress we see today means more than just the reduction in...

Mortar fires on Somali presidential compound kill 1

Insurgents in Somalia's capital yesterday fired a barrage of mortar rounds targeting the highly fortified presidential palace and main government compound, killing a guard, security officials said. There was no claim of any responsibility for the explosions, but the al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels have staged a string of attacks in their fight to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government. Last week two Shebab suicide bombers killed at least 25 people when they attacked major hotel close to the presidential palace and popular with...

Afghan Avalanches

Death toll soars past 200

Death toll soars past 200

More than 200 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall around Afghanistan, officials said yesterday, warning the death toll could rise still further. The bulk of the deaths came in Panjshir province, north of Kabul, where at least 168 people were killed, acting provincial governor Abdul Rahman Kabiri...

Blast targets Afghan Nato team; 2 killed

A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a vehicle belonging to Nato's top envoy in Afghanistan, killing Turkish soldier and a passerby, Turkish officials said. The explosion struck in the heart of the heavily fortified capital Kabul, close to the German, Iranian and Turkish embassies, rattling windows and putting embassy staff on high alert. The Nato Senior Civilian Representative and former Turkish ambassador to Afghanistan could not immediately be reached by phone. Details on his location at the...

Rss's Mother Teresa Remarks

Row disrupts India parliament

Row disrupts India parliament

India's upper house of parliament was briefly adjourned yesterday after opposition members denounced comments by the leader of a Hindu group who said Roman Catholic missionary Mother Teresa had tried to convert people to Christianity. Religious conversion has become a highly emotive issue in India recently, with debate whipped up by some supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who see multi-faith Indian as a Hindu-first nation. Members of the upper house criticized Mohan Bhagwat, head of the country's most powerful Hindu organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who recently said Mother Teresa helped the poor to make them "obligated so that they become Christian". Political opponents of Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya...

Expanding Khmer Rouge trials could spark war: PM

Expanding Khmer Rouge trials could spark war: PM

Cambodia's strongman Prime Minister yesterday warned that prosecuting more Khmer Rouge suspects in the country's UN-backed genocide court could ignite a civil war. Hun Sen, himself a former low-level commander in the brutal communist regime, said the prosecution of officials "almost goes too far" and could start a new conflict in his country. The Khmer...

Adultery no longer a crime in South Korea

South Korea's top court has ruled that adultery is no longer a crime, revoking a 1953 law under which cheating spouses could be jailed for up to two years. South Korea was one of only three Asian countries to criminalise infidelity - about 5,500 people have been convicted since 2008. But out of the nine-judge panel, seven deemed the law unconstitutional. Presiding judge Park Han-Chul said public conceptions of individuals' sexual rights had changed. "Even if adultery should be condemned as immoral, state...

News in Brief

US charges 3 for supporting ISIS Afp, New York Two New York Muslims were hauled before a federal court Wednesday charged with plotting to join Islamic State extremists in Syria and threatening to carry out attacks in the United States. FBI agents arrested Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, at John F Kennedy airport allegedly attempting to board a flight to Istanbul and Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24 -- who had offered to kill President Barack Obama -- was detained at home in Brooklyn. A...

Blasts kill 35 in Nigeria

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday visited the scene of what is feared to be Boko Haram's worst massacre as the Islamists killed 35 more with three separate bombings in the country's religiously tense central region and restive northeast. The bombings raised fears of a renewed wave of attacks against vulnerable targets in urban centres, as troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon make gains against the militants in rural areas. 18 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up...

US regulators adopt 'net neutrality'

US regulators yesterday approved landmark Internet rules that would prevent broadband providers from separating online traffic into slow and fast lanes. The Federal Communications Commission's 3-2 vote in favor of so-called "net neutrality" followed an intense debate in Washington pitting backers of online services like Netflix, Twitter and Yelp against big Internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said the plan would foster a free and open Internet where broadband services cannot be "gatekeepers" for what is...

The Star

Cover Story

Unveiling The Great Thinker

Unveiling The Great Thinker

Professor Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed has been writing for the Star Magazine with the pseudonym Chintito. His witty and thought provoking articles have been nourishing our readers mind for more than 18 years. This week The Star reveals the amazing story of this thought leader through a detailed interview. Professionally Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed is...

Cover Story

THE MAN BEHIND THE MAGIC

THE MAN BEHIND THE MAGIC

It is hard to speak out honestly in a world that is so intolerant of divergent views and so harsh in judging anything that challenges the status quo. But that is exactly what Chintito has done over the last twenty years – defying the convention of not talking of unpleasant truths. Starting as...

Periscope

It Ends Here

It Ends Here

About 12 years ago, I, a naïve 24-year-old, joined the Star as Staff Writer, and now, it is time to bid it a tearful goodbye. When I first stepped into the three-storied Daily Star office in grungy Karwan Bazaar I did not have any idea about journalism in Bangladesh. I had just returned from Hong Kong, and the only piece of information I had about the Daily Star was that it was the largest circulating English newspaper in the country and its fan following was increasing rapidly.  My first piece (Collecting Past) in the Star was my musings on Dhaka, a requiem for the fading beauty of a city we...

Special Feature

THE GROWTH OF THE SOIL

THE GROWTH OF THE SOIL

For a TV show about farmers—thin, bony, illiterate peasants, and agriculture—the mundane business of producing rice and jute, Mati O Manush might not have been a bright idea. But Shykh Seraj, award winning development activist and journalist, crafted it in such a way that it grabbed the audience by the collar and demanded...

Current Affairs

World XI versus AL?

World XI versus AL?

Why does Sheikh Hasina now oppose the UN's call for holding a dialogue between her ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP to resolve the ongoing political crisis? Her stance regarding the UN was different in 2006 when her AL-led alliance resorted to all possible means to stop its rival BNP-led coalition from holding the parliamentary polls scheduled for January 22, 2007. She even sought a UN-mediated election rather than the prospect of the polls under the then caretaker government led by Iajuddin Ahmed, according to US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks in September 2011. The then US ambassador to Dhaka Patricia A Butenis in a cable sent to Washington on...

Perspective

The Story of the Star

The Story of the Star

The Star is about to embark on a new journey. It will change its format from its present size to a tabloid. Being its editor for most of the 18 years of its existence a little reminiscing is in order. As I look through old issues of the Star my facial expressions change from a smile to a grimace to a look of utter horror and then a grin. If cartoonist Sharier Khan were nearby he would have had a blast drawing cartoons of these contortions. But while my hands are blackened with the soot from old issues that are only archived in paper form, I am filled with pride...

Food for Thought

Waiting for the Storm

Waiting for the Storm

It's happening again. A familiar rage unfolds its sticky wings within the captive interior of my chest: a monstrous butterfly emerging gracelessly from its cocoon. It's the same every night. The taste of panic blooms bitter on my tongue. Swallowing hard, I wonder how much longer I can bear this charade. I sculpt my features into submissiveness by a sheer act of will, reminding myself sternly that it's only during dinner that I must endure your company. It is the one meal that we eat together; indeed, the only time of day that we are even in the same room. I have tapped unexpected creativity to find excuses for wandering away...

Perceptions

The Lure of Storytelling

The Lure of Storytelling

I am an accidental journalist, the one who sort of stumbled into the world of writing. I had a different dream as a kid. I wanted to be an astronaut, explore the stars and the universe. However, with age my ambition changed. At 14, I fell directly from the sky to the ocean...

Village Flute

Coal Street

Coal Street

Coconuts, jackfruit, fish, papaya and rice… there's generosity to its geography. Bangladesh has a landscape that perpetually gives. It's the morning and I'm sitting in Saju's living room. It's not his Dinajpur Town residence but the old cottage in a row of cottages at Parbatipur's Barapukuria Coal Mine: the place he calls home on workdays. The housing strip is the old staff barracks. It currently houses employees unable to be accommodated elsewhere. Md Shajiul Islam, Saju Bhai, 43, is an assistant manager in the mechanical section. He's worked there for just short of eleven years. The minor concrete laneway features cute front gardens of vines and fruit trees – but has no...

Musings

The Bizarre, the Weird and the Fantastic

The Bizarre, the Weird and the Fantastic

In my two years working with The Star, I had the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful magazine in a number of capacities. I wrote features, often helped with the editing and collected the entries for Star Diary and Write to Mita. Of all these responsibilities, I felt a particular affinity for Star...

Art

KAJOL'S VISION

KAJOL'S VISION

According to artist Ruhul Amin Kajol, who is in Bangladesh for three months , visiting friends and relatives, formal art began with the Egyptians, Phoenicians and the cave dwellers before them, who used art to express their thoughts, beliefs and stories through architecture and relief work and to glorify their power. Huge constructions...

Perceptions

The Need to Do More

The Need to Do More

‘Ekush' holds a special place in the history of this country. It was the first scintilla of Bangladesh, long before Bangladesh was born. It is a unique example for a nation's struggle for its right, and the sacrifices made for a belief. It took the world decades to fully comprehend the stature of...

Star Diary

Star Diary

A Rickshaw-puller's Epiphany The rickshaw puller was a middle-aged, jolly fellow, who spoke with concern about the hygiene and cleanliness of the city. He suddenly stopped the rickshaw, signaling to me that he will be back within a couple of minutes. I noticed that he went to a corner beside a sidewalk to respond...

Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita, I am a 48-year-old man and have a 20-year-old daughter who is now away at a college abroad. Her mother and I divorced over a decade ago. However, when I remarried someone else around four years back, my daughter was not pleased with my decision. My wife has been very patient and treats my daughter like her own. But my daughter insists on behaving badly with her, not even attending family events if my wife is there. My ex-wife has encouraged my daughter in this behaviour but now I think that enough is enough. I refused to grant one of her many requests and since then she has...

Quirky Science

Quirky Science

LOOK AT HIS FINGER Maybe women should take a good look at their partner's fingers before putting a ring on one. Men with short index fingers and long ring fingers are on average nicer towards women. They are more likely to listen attentively, smile and laugh, compromise or compliment the other person, according to...

Remembrance

The Humanist Author

The Humanist Author

Krishan Chander was an Urdu writer famous for his short stories and novels. He was also well versed in Hindi and English. He has written around 30 collections of short stories and 20 novels with many Urdu radio plays. He also wrote screen plays for several Indian movies. Some of his stories and...

Postscript

The Last of the Tuesday Blues

The Last of the Tuesday Blues

It's a Tuesday today, the day we go to print, the day my colleagues, friends and family try to stay out of my way knowing the rise in my level of crankiness. Today I start the day with that same sense of panic – will I be able to finish my column before...

MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Story of the Bangla press What a timely cover story just before the 21st February! While the rest of the world takes great care in preserving their history, we pay no attention our own. How can we let something like the press of Kangal Harinath rot in sheer neglect and lack of attention?  It...

LUCIANO PAVAROTTI

LUCIANO PAVAROTTI

12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007 One of the most commercially successful musicians Luciano Pavarotti was an Italian operatic tenor.  He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for the brilliance and beauty of his tone—especially into the upper register—and eventually established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century. "  For me, music making is the most joyful activity possible, the most perfect expression of any emotion. Why should be elite, music? Excuse me. Music must be for everybody. You don't need any brains to listen to music. There is no prodigy in our profession. If you see all the great singer of the past, none...

SNAPSHOT

A New Beginning

A New Beginning

O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?         — Percy Bysshe Shelley

Voicebox

"I believe discussion is needed to change anything in a democracy. Without discussion, nothing can change." AMARTYA SEN Nobel Laureate Economist Said while launching the translated Bangla version of his latest book in Dhaka "We are very much aware of welfare of our country. Do not poke your nose into our internal affairs. The interference of foreigners will not be tolerated, foreigners are not our masters." SHEIKH FAZLUL KARIM SELIM Senior Awami League Lawmaker Warned the foreign diplomats that measures would be taken against the diplomats...

HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

Deplorable Condition Barisal. Barisal BM College's Jibonananda Das Hall has been in a bad shape for a long time. Looting the Orphans Patuakhali. Despite the signboard claiming that the land is reserved for the orphanage Hasemia Islamia Shishu Sadan, there are no accommodations for orphans. The authorities of the 'orphanage' however received over Tk 3 Lakhs...

Cartoon

Babu

Babu

 

Next Step

Dissecting the success of Unilever Bangladesh

Dissecting the success of Unilever Bangladesh

With more than 17 years of experience in human resources, brand communication and corporate communication under her belt, Mononita Syed-Haq became the first female director on the management committee when she joined as Human Resource Director at Unilever Bangladesh Ltd (UBL). She sat with The Daily Star in an interview to discuss UBL's current and future trends in human resources.     Unilever has been recognised as the Employer of Choice in Bangladesh for the third time around. Please tell us something about the survey procedure and nomination criteria. Employer of Choice is a key indicator of employer preference in the Campus Track B-Schools survey conducted by Nielsen Bangladesh annually. This is a...

Water Cooler Chronicles

Of paper planes and pen fights

Of paper planes and pen fights

It started out as something quite harmless. That one page application that he needed to submit to his university – why not take a print from the office – it is just one page after all. Next week when the eight page copy-pasted assignment needed to be printed out, the office printer was...

Press Release

The British Council and SDC hold policy dialogue on social enterprise

The British Council and SDC hold policy dialogue on social enterprise

The British Council in partnership with Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) organised a policy dialogue titled “Social Enterprise: Policy and Practice” in Dhaka at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on the 25 and 26 February, 2015.   The event brought together 100 policy experts, social enterprise and social investment intermediaries and practitioners from Vietnam,...

Old time office supplies

Old time office supplies

As much as we all love a bit of vintage charm around the office now and then, there are some things that just have to go. Avoid going Mad Men all over your workplace and bury these antiquated oddities of yesteryears in the deepest darkest corner of desk drawers, or better yet, the rusty seedy-looking file cabinet that’s probably filled with rats.     Rolodex   You can’t possibly have second thoughts about this one. Retro pizzazz is one thing, but outright obsolete is another. Unless you get a kick out of flicking through a gazillion mind-numbingly identical...

Letters

Letters To The Editor

Israeli apartheid

The Palestinians are so unfortunate; they have long been oppressed by the Israeli occupiers. It seems that Israel has become a carbuncle under the garb of coexistence and very cleverly sponsored and protected by the United States. Why do not the saner world leaders condemn the role of US? The massacre of the innocent Palestinians has exceeded all limits last year. Their rights have been snatched away by the Israelis, and all under the patronage of US, who likes...

Letters To The Editor

A partial view

I am really surprised by the partial view expressed by one of your columnists in his column titled "Behind the politics of attrition" published in your esteemed daily on February 14, 2015. It is also surprising to note that he totally forgets to mention in his piece that (i) this government came to power again a year ago through a farcical election and is unrepresentative of the people, (ii) it has consolidated power by politicising the state machineries (iii)...

COMMENTS

“Ironical yet deplorable” (February 17, 2015) S. M. Iftekhar Ahmed BNP, perhaps influenced by Jamaat, has become so obsessed about coming to power that it intentionally ignores the plight of the people or its own hardships. They also fail to realise that people will not support their so-called movement because of the way they are carrying it out. So unless BNP leaders change their way of thinking, this crisis will soon have an impact on them even more than on the...

City In Frame

Probhat Ferry on Ekushey

Probhat Ferry on Ekushey

Nurses, top, of several hospitals wearing white take part in the probhat ferry on Ekushey February. The young ones woke up early in the morning of February 21 and walked on the city streets bare feet to get to the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka. With flowers in their hands and some with...